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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

America Strikes Back: NATO Secretary-General Press Conference

Aired October 8, 2001 - 05:54   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CATHERINE CALLAWAY, CNN ANCHOR: As we continue our coverage now, we're going to take you live to Lord Robertson, the NATO Secretary- General. Let's listen in.

GEORGE ROBERTSON, NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL: I will be consulting over the next couple of days, first of all, with Prime Minister Chretien in Canada this evening, and I will personally congratulate and commend the offers of support that have been made by Canada at this time and indeed the support that has already been given by this country. And on Wednesday, I will be at the White House to meet President Bush, but I will be there first and foremost to express sympathy to his nation on the eve of the month's anniversary of these tragic atrocities but also to pledge the full-hearted support of the whole NATO alliance for America at its time of need.

Thank you very much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Questions please. First one there.

GREG PIAT (ph), "STARS AND STRIPES": Secretary-General, Greg Piat from "Stars and Stripes," two quick questions. Did Shape (ph) play a role at all in the attacks yesterday? And when will the AWACS begin to deploy?

ROBERTSON: Shape has, of course, played a considerable part in working up the proposals in relation to the AWACS. The AWACS will be deployed as quickly as possible and that will probably be within the next 24 to 48 hours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please.

BOLA (ph), CHEK TV: Secretary-General, Chek TV, my name is Bola. Do you expect any other ally to join the operation besides the U.S. and United Kingdom at this early stage of the operation? Thank you.

ROBERTSON: As the operation unfolds, a large number of our allies have offered support, and I dare say that the United States will call on that support as and when required. There is no lack of enthusiasm for this campaign because it is a campaign against a common enemy. And everybody knows that if the perpetrators of the atrocities of the 11th of September are not found and punished, then the potential for them doing it again remains considerable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last question, please. Here. JIM NUGER (ph), "BLOOMBERG NEWS": Yes, Jim Nuger from "Bloomberg News." Do you have an initial intelligence assessment of the success of last night's attacks in hitting their targets?

ROBERTSON: Well this was not a NATO operation, it was conducted by two NATO allies who will be carrying out battle damage assessments, I have no doubt, during the course of today. But it will be for them to announce the results of what has taken place. These were carefully targeted attacks and I would expect that they have been successful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much. Merci beaucoup. As usual, the text of this statement will be available at the press office. Merci.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

CALLAWAY: You've been listening to NATO Secretary-General George Robertson saying that he is heading to the U.S. to pledge -- meet with officials and pledge full support from the NATO alliance.

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